CHRIS BURN / PHILIP THOMAS – “as if as” (Confront Recordings, 2019)

Core09.jpg“as if as” is a new release of “Confront Recordings”. The compositions were composed by improviser and composer Chris Burn. This creative and outstanding improviser has his own point of view, innovative way of composing and rich musical language. His music is usually based on free improvisation and contemporary academical music by expanding new zones of sounds and creating fresh, original and inspiring compositions. The music was recorded by pianist and improviser Philip Thomas. Here we can hear a nice and interesting interpretation of “from ten, two and three” originally created by Derek Bailey, transcribed and arranged by Chris Burn. A composition for two pianos also is the part of this album – here Philip Thomas is playing together with Kate Ledger, another great pianist, in “the sky a silver dissonance”.

Bright, exclusive and original musical language, difficult musical pattern, unique sound and remarkable ideas are the main basics of “as if as”. The music for solo piano is full of affection, passion, drive and expression. Avant-garde jazz, free improvisational music, the main tendencies of contemporary academical music, experimental jazz and other similar jazz styles contain the main stylistic variety. There are many stylistic allusions which are surprising, twisting, dynamic and exotic. A bright and innovative instrumental section is created by using weird, specific, home-made, sometimes even peculiar, shocking and radical ways of playing. These elements are mixed up with traditional and extended playing techniques related to contemporary academical and modern classical music. Almost all the compositions are written for solo piano – here Philip Thomas demonstrates his wide musical knownledge, enchanting virtuosity, splendid playing technique and original point of view. A pianist is open to new forms, fresh ideas, evocative investigations and astonishing experiments on all sections of musical language. His music is flowing and twisting all the time – a wide range of colors, sounds, styles and motions is created. Dreamy, solemn, deep, tender or sophisticated pieces played in lyrical mood are changed by flowing passages, transcendental ornaments, extremely furious and hysteric riffs, breaking culminations, wild perturbations which become real bursts of energy. Sometimes the pianist is playing in tender and sophisticated mood, when he gets gentle and light, or sharp, frantic and aggressive. The elements related to puantilism, modern academical music, serialism and other composing techniques are used here. A harmony line is exceptional and modern – here sharp chords repeated monotonously form a bright sequences and are highly contrasting to steady pieces, stable tunes, repetitive ascetic sessions or minimalistic samples. We can also hear in this album a nice interpretation of “from ten, two and three” composed by Derek Bailey. This composition is played in especially expressive, driving and affectionnate way – that makes an effort to vivid, exclusive and bright sound. The duo of two pianos – “the sky a silver dissonance” – is played by Philip Thomas and Kate Ledger. Both pianists succesfully manage to fuse together wide range of colors, tunes and emotions – their music is bursting, sparkling and twisting. Blasting, wild, perturbating and breakin sessions, minimalistic samples, light solemn pieces, charming melodies, driving culminations and contrasting pieces are joined here. Individual styles, original pont of view, the will to create something new, rich harmonic pattern formed by dissonances and consonances, modern expressions, traditions and innovations create an organic, inspiring, bright and touching sound.


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